Is Home Teeth Whitening the Best Bleaching Choice for You?

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Professional Lazer Whitening and Other Treatment Options

There are a variety of different teeth whitening options available, today.  At home and in-office bleaching treatments are popular.  One of the latest innovations is professional lazer whitening.  Here are a few details about the various options available, in no particular order.

Any of them could provide the effects that you want to see.  Whiteness is a personal choice and judging effectiveness is basically subjective, although dentists can use shading guides to let you “see” how effective the procedure actually was.
Toothpaste, Paint-on Bleach, Whitening Strips and Over-the-Counter Tray Gels

Toothpaste does not typically contain a bleaching agent, but may contain a very low concentration of peroxide.  Silica, derived from sand or synthetic ingredients, may be included to get a “deep down” clean.  What happens with age is that micro-cracks form in the teeth and debris causes discoloration.  The silica may be able to get down into those cracks and scrub away the stains.

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The paint-on bleaches are a little more effective than toothpastes, but they can cost a great deal more.  Many people find that the paint is easier to use than the strips or the tray-gels.  It’s just not as effective.  If you have very light staining, you could give it a try. 

The whitening strips are relatively easy to use and the price is low.  They are not quite as effective as the tray gels, but they are less irritating to the gums and teeth.

In-office Bleaching and Professional Lazer Whitening

In-office bleaching is usually very similar to the at-home tray gels.  In both cases, a mouthpiece holds a bleaching gel that contains peroxide.  The concentration of peroxide is higher in the in-office treatments than it is in the at-home kits, provided by a dentist.  The kits that are available over the counter contain a different kind of peroxide that is less effective, but also less irritating.

The professional lazer whitening treatments are a little different.  A translucent bleaching gel containing crystals is applied to the teeth.  The laser light is used to activate the crystals, allowing them to penetrate the enamel.  This provides a greater degree of whitening than bleaching gels, alone, particularly in cases of deep staining.  Not all dentists provide this service.

The advantage to the professional lazer whitening treatment is that one visit is all it takes.  The disadvantage is cost and a sudden change of color that is immediately noticeable.  Other procedures have a more gradual effect, rather than a sudden change. 

The cost of whitening options varies from just a few dollars for toothpaste to $1000 or more for a lazer treatment.  But, there is an option to fit any budget.